This is the first post in a series of posts on my thoughts about living through Covid19, sharing cooking and lifestyle tips to cope with the situation and sharing useful links to read on the subject
The last few weeks have been all-consuming – the anxiety, the uncertainty and the feeling of gloom enveloping us as country after country is falling like nine pins against coronavirus.
As late as January of this year, when terrible news was coming in from China, many of us did not imagine that the viral infection would reach far corners of the globe and leave people grappling for air in its wake. In India, the government machinery, the local bodies and responsible citizens have risen and continue to rise to the occasion to ensure that the spread is contained and slowed down. We are of course battling a slew of fake news and utterly irresponsible behaviour from people who are failing to quarantine themselves after travel to affected countries or running away from hospitals.
It is astonishing how quickly ‘social distancing’ and ‘flattening the curve’ have become a part of our everyday vocabulary. These two along with handwashing are the only known methods to prevent or delay getting infected with the coronavirus. In this case, a delay is AS important as prevention.
Coronavirus is not a deadly disease to most young and healthy folks. People do make a full recovery without landing into serious complications. The elderly, people with respiratory disorders, immunocompromised people and diabetics are some of the categories of people who are at greater risk, so we owe it to them not to pass on the infection and to ensure we slow down the spread so that every person who needs medical attention is able to get it at the right time. Too many people suffering the complications of coronavirus at the same time burden the healthcare system and many will not be able to get medical help, a hospital bed, vital lifesaving equipment as no country is prepared to handle the consequences of such a pandemic.
It has been one week now, and my family is nearly self-quarantined, even though none of us have a history of foreign travel in the near past. My husband and I take turns in going for walks with our son inside the community either early morning or late in the evening, not bumping into too many people so that we get some fresh air and exercise. We have given an indefinite leave (paid, of course) to the household help so she can stay with her family during this crisis, not walk on the crowded road to reach our house and we also maintain our near-quarantine status.
There is a lot of household work to keep me occupied. Cooking three meals a dal, cleaning the whole house, sanitising common contact points, laundry etc. plus a whole lot of committee work. I joked on my Instagram the other day that this home has become a home-gym because it is giving me so much exercise.
Physical work keeps my mind occupied and keeps the anxiety demons from rearing up their heads, spiralling into spaces with questions that we still don’t have answers to. All this work also makes me bone-tired by the end of the day. I rest my head on the pillow at 9.30 pm hoping to catch one episode of something on Netflix / Prime and I never even get to the point of clicking on the episode. Sleep ambushes me in an instant and I have no option but to put my laptop down and submit to it.
Last night however I was troubled by nightmares featuring covid19. It is expected given how much we are reading and absorbing about the disease through the day. At one end, you may say it is good to go off all social media, stop consuming news by the second and stop reading stories about Covid19. But I am a person of science and I am reading everything about the virus and its impact with equal parts horror and fascination. Information is power and it is good to know everything there is about this pandemic situation and make informed decisions for ourselves, our family and our community.
We are living in unprecedented times. A microscopic organism is holding the whole world as a hostage. Entire countries are going into lockdown. International borders are being sealed. Travel is banned. Neighbours cannot shake hands with each other. People who have returned from foreign travel are seen with much fear. Healthcare workers are unable to go back home to their families for days. Marriages, funerals, landmark events, exams are all cancelled or indefinitely postponed. To not read about them or to not immerse ourselves in these times which will go down in history as the worst thing to affect mankind in 100 years is to live in denial, which I most definitely do not want to be in.
I read a tweet a couple of days ago which resonated deeply.
“Advice from a historian in the Boston area: Start keeping a journal today, ideally a handwritten one if that’s within your ability. Write about what you’re seeing in the news, how yr friends are responding, what is closed in yr neighborhood or city or state or country. Save it.
Write your stories down about what’s happening now, and tomorrow, and Monday. Do it by hand, on paper. The hand-writing will adjust your brain. It will take you offline and out of the swirl of news and hopefully, for a moment, into a little bit of peace in the midst of crisis.”
This forced me to open my blog after months and just write. I also plan to write a pen and paper journal for a more offline/personal writing and exploration of my thoughts and feelings, because the current situation is affecting us far more than we can imagine.
In the coming days, you will see a post or two from my every day. These will include links to read, interesting and insightful tweets/threads on covid19, quarantine cooking tips, eating healthy during these testing times, items to keep in your pantry and so on. Stay tuned!
Links to read:
- The story of coronavirus infection – If this does not make you take Covid19 seriously, nothing will.
- Succumbing to the crippling apocalypse: Scenes inside a hospital in the worst affected part of Italy
- Twitter thread from someone who travelled from London to Being recently and how China is not letting its guard down anytime soon.
- We can stop the pandemic in its tracks, we just need to lose all privacy. Are we prepared for that? Read here.